Fashion designer sets up studio for new talent

Models show off some of Jacqui Burke's work. Picture: Jon Savage
Models show off some of Jacqui Burke's work. Picture: Jon Savage
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A fashion designer is looking to inspire the next generation of talent by setting up a studio for those wanting to follow in her footsteps.

International designer and naturalist Jacqui Burke, 49, will be launching The Jacqui Burke Fashion School in Dunbar this August.

Students on the 30-week course will learn everything they need to know about designing and tailoring for high fashion.

Ms Burke, who works with the likes of Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, will also be giving the students the chance to work with real orders that could spring them into the designer spotlight.

“I’m teaching through doing so they all have orders to do so the school will sustain itself,” she explained.

The mum-of-three is renowned for her collections at London Fashion Week and has been teaching students between the ages of six and 80 for the last 13 years after having children Ariea, 15, and twins Roman and Anique, 13.

She said: “I have always wanted to have a design and production team in Dunbar because there’s a real lack of it in East Lothian despite the market being worth £57 billion.”

Ms Burke, who has a degree in clothing studies, said she was originally told she should be a secretary but followed her dream of becoming a fashion designer instead.

“I was always making people clothes or taking in my mum’s skirts and people’s jeans,” she explained. “I remember going to the career advisor in school and telling her I wanted to do something like fashion and she told me to go and be a secretary.”

Current student and make-up artist, Sarah Ryba, 31, of Dunbar, said she was looking forward to starting the new course. She said: “It’s amazing – it’s something I never had the chance to do when I was at school and I have always wanted to be a fashion designer.”

Ms Burke will showcase her work when her latest collection goes on show as part of the John Muir Festival, at the town’s old library, on Monday.